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Letter from William Whewell

  • MS. R/2.99/1
  • Item
  • 25-26 Mar. 1816 [i.e. 1817]
  • Part of Manuscripts, R

Cambridge University 'is a vile university and the vice chancellor is a damned vice chancellor. - But if possible I will waste no more time in exclamations and give you the facts - scene - Union debating Room - Time - six o'clock. - Knock at door - silence - enter the red round idiot head & turkey cock breast of Okes [William Okes] - Hon. gentlemen stare - enter the inflexibly meek countenance & proctorial smile of French [William French] - stare wider - Okes running himself against the table & addressing the president. "Vice Chancellor sent us to say he don't like these societies - all to go home". French "The Vice Chancellor desires you to disperse & to meet no more". - Pres. requests the messengers to withdraw that soc. may consider of it - "No - not a subject for your consideration - you must oblige" - so the vice chancellor dislikes these societies - but suppose we reject political subjects - will he let us discuss literary ones - "Can't say - no authority - but V.C. is in the house we will mention"[.] [Says] again "no societies at all to be allowed - all to disperse". But we must finish this meeting - we have financial matters - V.C. is here - you will let us send a deputation to him - Whewell - Thirlwall [Connop Thirlwall] - Sheridan [Charles B. Sheridan] - ushered into a room - V.C. in full silks - head white[,] face red & ugly. - Jackson in the background - Red nose of [Hornbuckle?] sticking across the room - and o sorrow & shame! Monk [James H. Monk] - (Why the devil - fool as he was - did he not let it be a Johnian business as it deserved to be) - "We are told you have an objection to our debates - want to know how far it goes - literary subjects?" "No sir - they are against the statutes - all meetings at regular times for the purpose of debate are - hum - haw - hum irregular - and you have only three years - you have other things to do - you take too much upon you - your knowledge[,] your reading[,] your minds are not proper food..." "I am afraid we are not to be allowed to consider the reasons - we must submit to the authority" A move at the word authority "But the case must have been exaggerated - two or three hours a week" "Sir I have had a letter from a person who once belonged to the society and who says that his prospects have been ruined & that the prospects of several of his friends have been ruined by the time and attention he has bestowed on the Society." "Very unfortunate - but it is impossible this can be common." "Sir it is against the statutes - you must disperse." But we may retain our reading room - and continue our present debate - granted. - Long debate - all manner of motions - Remonstrances proposed. - Committee - Whewell - Thirlwall - Sheridan - Lawson - Lodge - My Lord Chief Justice a fool as usual and apparently somewhat frightened. - Committee met today. Now what think you of this? - It is not yet decided what is to be done but of course there must somehow or other, a great noise be made. Do you not think it would do good to write to Clarke & inflame him about it. - And to write to some of the newspapers - it has been proposed to petition the chancellor - write immediately and tell me what you think. - I have done nothing for Lacroix [Silvestre F. Lacroix] yet but we will talk of that another time'.

Notes on books read

Daily list of books read, kept from 16 Oct. 1817 - 16 Dec. 1817. With a note in the first entry explaining that he has "found it extremely convenient to keep a waste book of my reading &c. Artificers who work in gold have a vessel to receive all the filings that fall from their work - but I am not a gold worker - This is rather a bag to receive all old rags, scraps & remnants."

Memorandum book

Notes relating to the pendulum experiment in the Dolcoath mine, with calculations on the elevation of houses, with many other miscellaneous notes.

Letters to William Whewell and Christopher Wordsworth

Includes letters by J. O. Halliwell, J. M. Heath about the August 1846 storm in Cambridge, H. Montagu Butler about a bust of Archdeacon Hare, Vernon Musgrave about a memorial to Archbishop Musgrave, with a draft from William Whewell to Vernon Musgrave.

Wright, William Aldis (1831–1914) literary and biblical scholar

William Whewell letters and printed material received

A collection of some of the printed material and letters received by Whewell between 1819 to 1833, of which the materials relating to the Cambridge elections of 1829 and 1830 form a part.

Whewell, William (1794-1866) Master of Trinity College, Cambridge

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